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It was an expensive first day at Le Mans. Bikes in the three Grand Prix classes hit the deck (and the gravel trap) 44 times on Friday, a colossal number, even for Le Mans.

To put that into perspective: at the first race in Qatar, there were 37 crashes over all three days of the first Grand Prix, and 27 over three days of the Doha round at Qatar.

In fact, six of the nineteen rounds held in 2019 had fewer crashes over all three days than Le Mans did on Friday, and another five rounds only had a handful more.

We know that Yamaha is readying a full-fairing version of the MT-07 street bike. We know that Yamaha is going to call this parellel-twin powered motorcycle the YZF-R7. And, we know that the Yamaha YZF-R7 is going to debut very soon.

Today, we get our first look at the 2021 Yamaha YZF-R7, ahead of its official debut. The two photos might not spill the full monty about this machine, but they do provide some key insights into this new track wannabe.

There are some tracks MotoGP goes to where you can pretty sure of what to expect. Jerez will be sunny and warm, though some years are warmer than others. Motegi will be cold, with a good chance of rain.

The heat in Thailand and Sepang will be brutal, with a 4pm downpour in Sepang pretty much guaranteed.

There are other tracks where you are pretty much guaranteed a bit of everything. Sachsenring will invariably have one cold morning and one wet morning, and a sweltering afternoon.

Episode 62 of the Brap Talk motorcycle podcast is out with another “weekly” episode, for your two-wheeled listening pleasure.

This is our follow-up episode that explains why we’ve been slow to get shows out (as well as articles on A&R). Spoiler alert: Jensen broke his collarbone, again.

Naturally then, we start the episode by talking about Jensen’s recent on-track crash. This gets us into a conversation about the mental side of the sport, and probably why this podcast is going to come out late (which it did).

From there, we take a look at the new Suzuki GSX-S1000 street bike, as well as Valentino Rossi’s decision to take money from the Saudi Arabian government.

We finish the show with a fun discussion about our favorite bikes with different engine configurations.

As you can tell, it’s a packed show, and we think you will find it to be an interesting. As always, keep checking back for our “weekly” chats.

You can find the latest episodes of the Brap Talk Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, SpotifySoundCloud, or via your RSS feed. If you would like to become an A&R Pro member, you can do so here.

And if you’re not already, you should also listen to our sister podcasts, the MOTR Podcast and the Paddock Pass Podcast.

Source: SoundCloud

The changes continue in Milwaukee, as Harley-Davidson will make a dedicated electric motorcycle brand under the LiveWire name (similar to what the American brand has done with its “Serial 1” brand of e-bikes).

Seeming forgetting about the original Harley-Davidson Livewire motorcycle, the Bar & Shield brand says that the first LiveWire motorcycle will debut on July 8th, 2021 and show at the International Motorcycle Show a day later.

There comes a time in every racer’s career that they have to ask themselves if it is time to stop. It is a question they invariably spend a long time giving the wrong answer to; the life of an elite athlete means they always travel more in hope than in expectation.

But, sometimes that hope is justified: they find the speed they were missing. The setback was not their fault, but down to circumstances. But proving the reverse, that circumstances won’t ride in on a white horse to save them, takes a very long time to accept.

As predicted, Audi has dropped its Q1 2021 financials report, which means we get a glimpse into Ducati’s first quarter results for the year – and more specifically, which segments in Ducati’s lineup are performing (or not).

As we teased earlier this week, sales are strong for the Italian brand. Ducati is posting a 33% gain over 2020’s dismal numbers, but more importantly, Ducati still managed to show a 2% gain against the first quarter of 2019.